The Maccabees, The Institute, 11/05/15

With their fourth album yet to be released, the London five-piece are here to remind their fans of their presence and to treat them to a few glimpses of what’s to come. Reading like a greatest hits record, The Maccabees’ set stretched from their innocent beginnings through to some of their newest and more mature material.

Opening with the understated Wall of Arms, the band ease their way in following a three-year absence since their last record, giving the crowd plenty of opportunity to indulge in the singalong favourites of Love You Better and the frenzy-inducing Precious Time. They even manage to fit in Latchmere – their childhood homage to the wave machine of their local leisure centre.

Hearing lead singer Orlando Weeks sing of verruca socks and heavy petting, it’s plain to see the transformation the band have taken, especially when comparing this to the more complex and ‘grown up’ sounds of Feel to Follow and Forever I’ve Known, taken from their last album Given to the Wild, which rightly earned them a Mercury nomination. New single Marks to Prove It sounds refreshing yet still built with the same fervour reminiscent of their early material. Spit It Out on the other hand sees a darker side of the band emerge as guitars are stripped back in favour of the piano, while powerful WW1 Portraits is as serious as the name suggests, further demonstrating that The Maccabees are not a one-trick pony. As the jolting energy of X-Ray and No Kind Words brings the set to a close Orlando tells tonight’s audience of his anxiety over the whole encore process, fearing what sort of reception they’ll receive when they return to the stage. But of course, they get a rapturous reception closing the show fittingly with the grand Pelican. With the release of their fourth album imminent anxiety may be ever-present for Orlando, but if the album is as much as a hit as tonight was, he has little to worry about.

Words: Matthew Way


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